Hang Gliding is So Macho: Chicks Need Not Apply; Don’t Even Try

[Regular blogging will resume. Note at the bottom of the post.]

Mimi, with her own blog, sporting a cute profile pic of herself, rings in; comment on my last macho hang gliding post, complete with Led Zep “Whole Lotta Love” music and women (that’s plural) “you need me.”

Umm…that hang-gliding is so badass. I’d love to know a little bit more about what it’s like — how does one learn?

Pfft, paleo shmaleo. People who sit around all day every day reading paleo articles are likely not getting any fitter or healthier. You’re living, and living well. That’s awesome

Sorry, Mimi. See, you’re a girl and my previous posts are just about my manhood self consciousness in the face of a looming mid-life crisis.

Don’t pay any attention at all to these hot chick Fly Girls.

Count the phallic symbolism in that one. Oh yea!

Or, check out to this overly dark & reflective one. She’s way too artsy fartsy to fly a hang glider anyway. You know chicks like that, and they certainly don’t have a secret life of flying.

Should you really have an interest in pursuing something as ill-advised as this, then go to the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association website, call a local school using a man’s voice, and go from there. Don’t get interested in paragliders. You already wear panties (inside joke: we call them pantie pilots and they call us plumbers, and worse).

Alright, you may consider this a stub. I’d intended to get back to regular scheduling and have no less than two posts in draft, one about Matesz and his totally bizarre behavior, and one about Taubes, as already mentioned. But before I go, Mimi did mention about hang gliding being “so badass,” so here’s my touchstone for that, to Muse.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Chris Tamme on July 18, 2011 at 11:17

    Definitely curious to hear your take on Matesz. That is definitely a strange turn of events there.

  2. Matt on July 18, 2011 at 02:29

    Hi Richard,

    Any chance of some progress pics?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 18, 2011 at 03:22


    • Matt on July 19, 2011 at 06:15

      Well, we are a similar age and I only started training a few months ago and I find your progress pics inspiring

    • Richard Nikoley on July 19, 2011 at 11:07

      Oh, OK.

      I have tended to remain in the 180-185 range, so pretty much the last sets of progress are the way things are. My focus is simply staying at or below where I am right now, for life.

    • Matt on July 19, 2011 at 12:29

      I have much more weight on me and a smaller frame than you, the journey is long but better late than never I suppose! I really enjoy your blog thanks

  3. Fred on July 19, 2011 at 08:24

    “Matesz and his totally bizarre behavior”. Gotta love that paleo groupthink… So intellectual honesty is bizarre? Grow up, guys. It should be about a search for truth – not a nutritional cult.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 19, 2011 at 14:02

      So after struggling with the draft of the post for days, not getting it where I wanted, I have decided to can it, owing to my realization today that Matesz is presenting at the Ancestral Health Symposium in early August, as am I. And I have confirmed he is still presenting.

      Whether or not a post from me about his recent 180 degree reversal would in any way detract from the event I don’t know, but I don’t want to risk mucking it up for others, especially the organizers.

      So, the post is postponed indefinitely. We’ll see what happens at AHS and I’ll go from there.

      Here’s the principal gist of my heartburn with the matter.

      – Why not evolve within the context of a wider paleo paradigm rather than declare it extinct (“Farewell to Paleo)?

      – He did this for 14 years on himself and patients according to him, claims to have had lots of bad results, and….he did this for 14 years? 14 years? 14 years!? Bad results for 14 years? …???

      – I have myself drifted away from the obligatory low-carb influence in paleo, i.e., potatoes, fruit and now, some white rice. So in terms of carbs, still paleo. In terms of foods, mostly so, but why would I need to call “Farewell” to Paleo? And even if I did, why would I need to express it like…’well, I was wrong for 14 years but now I’m just as right as I asserted I was right during those 14 years and you are all wrong’?

      – His style. If you look at his past Paleo posts he writes with the exact same authoritative style as he writes now. This goes to credibility.

      – He wrote the most absolutely absurd and laughably ridiculous (I mean knee slapping stupid ridiculous) post about how saturated fat, because it hardens at room temperature, increases blood viscosity (makes blood thicker). To add to that, he wrote that it’s “simple physics.” So when a physicist who teaches fluid mechanics put him in short pants, as well as Chis Masterjohn and Stephan Guyenet, guess what he did, after more than 80 comments, as I recall? He deleted the post and comments without a single whisper about it — as though it never happened. That makes me seriously question his character and honesty. I do have a PDF of that ignorant stupid post but have not decided whether to upload it so it can be linked. Chris M, however, saved about 70 of the comments.

      – The fact that this major turnaround happened right after he married a kooky acupuncturist is just weird, to me. But maybe that’s just me. I got married my first time at 40, my wife too, at 41. We made a very small deal of it. I just find it bizarre that when older folks get married and especially when it’s 2nd or 3rd for both of them, they make a spectacle of it. Nobody fucking cares. Heres her kookfest blog.

      – I believe it was in his “Farewell to Paleo” post that one commenter pointed out exactly what I have, that he posted so authoritatively on paleo, high fat, and so on. The same commenter went on to post a number of authoritative quotes from past blog posts, using the same sorts of data and charts and such that Don s now using in his 180 degree reversal. Last I checked, those comments no longer exist. Unless I am mistaken, they were deleted.

      I could probably list more things, but you get the idea. This is in no way about evolving Paleo, moving forward with new knowledge, experience, insight as I have done since getting over the original exuberance.

      But I think Don wants to be seen as an authority, a teacher, a guru. Probably why he’s so into Eastern mysticism.

    • Emily Deans on July 19, 2011 at 14:15

      Yes, it is the authoritarianism that puzzles me. I’ve written a nutrition chapter in a book that I now think is completely wrong (hey, it was 2003) and I’m fully willing to own up to that. We all have our journey.

      (okay, it’s also the ignorance of human physiology – “fatty blood” is filled with TRIGLYCERIDES, last I checked. Sigh. The strange attempts at explaining physiology on that blog are now a train wreck from which I cannot avert my eyes. )

    • Melissa McEwen on July 19, 2011 at 14:46

      Dude, you gotta go along with your principles and burn some bridges with me 🙂 I think the paleo community has really suffered from people unwilling to call out others for being idiots.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 19, 2011 at 15:19

      I actually am a bridge burner most of the time. I regularly tell me wife: “out with the old, in with the new,” to which she always asks if that includes her and I tell her we’ll see. 🙂

    • Ben on July 20, 2011 at 00:44

      Thats just cruel 😀

    • Jan on July 19, 2011 at 14:47

      IMHO, this can almost entirely be attributed to his wife – when talking to my husband about Don’s inexplicable 180 (I’m with you – paleo had given him and his clients terrible results for 14 years?!?), he replied, “Yeah, pussy’ll do that to a guy.” SHE believes in all that Eastern mysticism woo, as well as a low-fat plant-based diet, so he’s just jumped right on the bandwagon. I’ve been referring to her as the Yoko Ono of the paleo world. 😛

    • Richard Nikoley on July 19, 2011 at 15:13

      Ha, well there you go, everything always reduces to pussy. 🙂

      Awesome food porn and blog, Jan. Don’t think I’d seen your blog before. I don’t get out much, these days.

    • gallier2 on July 19, 2011 at 15:20

      As my mother always said “eine Votze zieht mehr als zehn Pferde” (A pussy pulls more than ten horses). 🙂

    • Karen P. on July 19, 2011 at 15:13

      Aside from strange assertions and inconsistencies, the thing that keeps bothering me is how can eating real food wreak such havoc? Sorry, not buying it. I get if it’s a preference or a change in ethics or philosophy or some other seen-the-light kinda change, but you can’t reach those conclusions through reason.

      And I don’t care how wonderful the wife is, to completely reverse 14 years of practice is extreme. If she is indeed the cause then all we can conclude is that he is weak-willed and malleable to such a destructive degree that he’s willing to kiss off a community he’s fostered for 14 years. I dunno. Something ain’t right.

      What I still haven’t seen is what he plans to eat going forward. Oreos? What is going to be so different for him? I don’t think if someone added a smidgen of buckwheat or quinoa that their Paleo badge would be taken away. So it must be drastically different to warrant such drama.

    • Lucas Tafur on July 19, 2011 at 16:59

      I think the most annoying aspect is his attitude and writing style, as you point out. But after all, he has the credentials (?!) to be a nutrition guru: he has a diploma in Comprehensive Nutrition.

    • Melissa McEwen on July 19, 2011 at 21:09

      American Academy of Nutrition is a diploma mill for quacks.

    • Monica Hughes on July 19, 2011 at 19:07


    • Monica Hughes on July 19, 2011 at 19:08

      To Richard’s original comment, that is. Not sure why it’s appearing down here.

    • Jamie on July 19, 2011 at 21:15

      +1 on the authoritarianism. I’ve had to do a 180 on where I was a couple of years ago, and I am constantly learning from many of the contributors to the paleosphere. No we haven’t got it all nailed down, and yes there is much to learn. I write posts that should all have question marks in the title. Me milling stuff around in my head and then putting it out is effectively a form of peer review. If I’m way off base, I would expect to get called on it. Some times I appreciate that, other times I might brood on it. But I learn either way. Yeah, I know some stuff, and on some things, I know a bit more than others – but I’m not even remotely close to being an authority on anything other than n=1 (If I do post like I am, feel free to give me a slap up the back of the head). It is DM’s attitude to him being right and the rest off us flogging a dead horse that riles me up. He is welcome to his point of view without telling everyone else they are wrong.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 19, 2011 at 22:02

      Word, Jamie.

      I’m just glad that I have only been “authoritative” when it comes to crap food and crap advice from peddlers of CW.

      I have enjoyed, actually, evolving in thought about Paleo and it has been easy to do because I have never boxed myself into rigidity.

    • bob r on July 24, 2011 at 11:25

      Tim Harford: Trial, error and the God complex

      Many have the God complex in various forms. Fortunately it is rarely seen here. (The link is *not* about religion in any way and is on point to the present discussion.)

    • bob r on July 24, 2011 at 11:29

      I guess I should have noted that the link is to a video of a presentation at “Technology, Entertainment, Design” (TED). Lots of interesting stuff there.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 19, 2011 at 08:33

      That’s not what it’s about, Fred. Gotta love that Paleo mind reading.

  4. john on July 19, 2011 at 14:13

    When is blood ever at room temp?

    • Matthew on July 19, 2011 at 14:17

      When you are dead.

    • Daniel Hagg, MD on July 19, 2011 at 14:21

      umm …. i’m going with 2 possibilities. 1) It’s been sitting on the tabletop in a lab somewhere, 2) your body is at room temp (one need not be dead for this occurrence but typically that would be the scenario).
      i like your sarcasm.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 19, 2011 at 15:04

      Quote from the post:

      “The human body operates at about 95-100 degrees F. Notice that the saturated fats don’t melt–i.e. become liquid–until you reach more than 110 degrees.”

      This was after a chart he posted claiming that lauric acid melts at 111, myristic at 136, palmitic at 145, stearic at 158 and arachidic at 171.

  5. Matthew on July 19, 2011 at 14:18

    Or when you are in a very warm room.

  6. Steve Cooksey on July 19, 2011 at 14:40


    Your comment is dead on the money.

    I experiment with many different foods and ratios … there is a surprising amount of diversity available to those who want to eat paleo/primal….

    I gotta say though … glad you didn’t want to much things up… ” Heres her kookfest blog.” … LOL!

  7. Joseph on July 20, 2011 at 15:12

    Love is a bitch. Don fell for a McDougallite, and tries to make her world his. I wish them both well. The only issue I have is the same mentioned by everyone else: lose the authority, already! (This is probably a good idea no matter where you end up in terms of diet. Mouthing off and then refusing to acknowledge your mistake is a sure recipe for ethical disaster.)

  8. Tracy on July 21, 2011 at 04:48

    I used to enjoy his blog, and kept checking in even after the dramatic ‘farewell, paleo’ *swoon* thing, but I agree. You do something for 14 years, talk about it like it’s great, then suddenly one day it’s ‘well, this has never worked for me’. Then jump on another bandwagon with the same fervor.

    Retarded. I mean, I have stomach issues that have been going on a long, long time. I have to watch how much vegetation I eat, or issues crop up. Sometimes too much protein at once gives me problems. Doesn’t mean I wave toodle-ooo to either, or declare paleo (whatever that even means) ‘bad’.

    Shame too, because he is a talented writer and was a great addition to the numerous voices out there.

    Checked out his wife’s blog… sweeping generalizations and more crap about how much water etc it takes to feed cows/all that grain could go to feed the hungry. Jeebus. And the whole carb thing – some of us DO have trouble with carbs, yes even ones like potato. Doesn’t make all carbs ‘bad’ of course. I used to eat the way they both eat now (but with gluten grains as well) and it made me fat and sick. It makes them feel great – fine by me, just don’t act like the rest of us are stupid/misled because we’re different.

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